Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Marines Ban Polyester Clothing In Iraq

The U.S. Marines are issuing a health risk over synthetic athletic clothing containing polyester and nylon. Commanders are ordering some Marines in Iraq to stop wearing popular sports clothing, from companies like, Under Armour, CoolMax and Nike, as the materials are prone to cause terrible burns fires. According to U.S. Navy Capt. Lynn E. Welling, the 1st Marine Logistics Group head surgeon, When exposed to extreme heat and flames, clothing containing some synthetic materials like polyester will melt and can fuse to the skin.Welling says, "This essentially creates a second skin and can lead to horrific, disfiguring burns." "Burns can kill you and they're horribly disfiguring. If you're throwing (a melted synthetic material) on top of a burn, basically you have a bad burn with a bunch of plastic melting into your skin, and that's not how you want to go home to your family." According to the Pentagon, Tension Technology International, a company that specializes in synthetic fibers, most man-made fabrics such as nylon, acrylic or polyester will melt when ignited and produce a hot, sticky, melted substance. This can cause extremely severe burns. While the "high-performance apparel" may be the best way to stay cool when working in a low-risk environment, Welling says, "We've got a great piece of gear, but when you put it in the wrong environment, it could cause more problems than it's worth."

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